ROCKINGHAM — In a day and age when Netflix’s movies-by-mail and streaming services and the ever-present Redbox kiosks dominate the nationwide movie rental market, folks here still flock to Family Video.
The Rockingham business says it’s still thriving in today’s competitive climate. While video stores in other cities have closed their doors, Family Video on the corner of Fayetteville Road and Long Drive remains busy.
Russ Jordan, who’s worked at the store since it opened nearly 10 years ago, said there’s a big difference between Family Video and other ways to rent movies.
“Customer service,” Jordan said. “People would rather deal with people.”
Jordan said the period from Easter until the end of the school year is considered the store’s slow season. On average, though, the video store rents roughly 500 movies a day, according to Jordan.
There are numerous reasons why customers prefer the local video store to Redbox and online movie-streaming sites. Some people simply don’t have a credit or debit card, which is required for Redbox rentals.
Family Video also gets its movies 30 days ahead of the competition, Jordan said, making it possible for customers to see their favorite movies and shows as soon as possible.
In the past, one of the big pluses of a Redbox machine was its price, but over the last few years, Jordan said, Redbox prices have risen as Family Video’s dropped.
“Our price is $1.91 including tax for one movie,” said Jordan. “If it’s a new release, once it’s been out for two weeks, then you can get it for five nights at the same price.”
Some may find the movie rental kiosks more convenient, but the boxes are usually unsheltered — customers have to stand in the rain, cold or blazing heat to rent a title. Selection also is limited to the movies and video games available in the machines each week.
Jordan said coming to Family Video allows customers to enter a climate-controlled space with a much larger selection of movies, video games and TV show collections.
With the lack of a movie theater in Richmond County, residents of a predominantly older county who aren’t up to date with online streaming services flock to Family Video to find their entertainment on a Friday night, Sunday afternoon or holiday, employees explained.
“We’re open from 10 a.m. to midnight every day, and we’re open every holiday,” said Jordan. “We never close.”
Reach reporter Matt Harrelson at 910-997-3111, ext. 18.